Final Fantasy 14’s first expansion pack Heavensward is coming June 23, 2015. While A Real Reborn’s narrative is on track to end this month, the current storyline’s finale is intended to push players toward Heavensward’s fresh content. With a theme song composed by Nobuo Uematsu, Square Enix will tell the tale of the The Dragonsong War, a bloody conflict that spans a thousand years between two lands: Ishgard and Dravania. We got to check out some of what the new expansion will bring to the table, and we loved what we saw.
Massive New Areas and Mounts
Heavensward introduces several new sprawling, expansive zones. Players will finally get to explore Dravania, a landmass marked by a gargantuan crystal mountain. A massive forrest showcasing trees with multiple trunks decorate the mountain’s base, which offer a unique twist on traditional woodland zones.
In addition to Dravania, Heavensward also lets players explore Foundation, The Pillars, Coerthas Western Highlands, and floating landmasses like The Churning Mists and the Sea of Clouds. Players will finally be able to travel to those areas in style with brand new flying mounts. Flying Chocobos, dragons, and even airships will get you where you need to be three times faster than FF14's current mounts.
A Beautiful New Race
Square Enix is adding to the list of races players can choose from by introducing the Au Ra. A quick glance will likely remind FF14 verterans of the Miqo’te, but don’t be fooled: The Au Ra’s skin is scaly and dragon-like, and intimidating horns emerge from either side of their heads.
Players that are more savvy can pat themselves on the back; a cloaked NPC from A Realm Reborn has been rumored to be Heavensward’s new race for quite some time, and it is indeed true.
Exciting New Jobs
Heavensward will give players three new options when choosing what job to learn. The Dark Knight is a new tanking class that wields a giant greatsword. Dark Knights also have access to dark magic and aura to maintain enmity.
For those that prefer to provide support for their party, the Astrologian is the expansion’s new medic class. The Astrologian’s Star Globe can tap into the power of the stars to access the divining deck, which will buff party members, debuff enemies, and more.
Finally, the DPS class is represented with the brand new Machinist. Specializing in ranged combat, the Machinist carries a firearm that can be configured to the player’s liking with different attachments that alter gun properties.
Scopes, spread barrels, and larger magazines are just a few of the add-ons that you can customize your Machinist’s arsenal. As an added bonus, the Machinist can place turrets on the battlefield to boost party members or deal damage over time to foes.
Alexander is the new raid players will be working toward. Similar to the Coils of Bahamut, Alexander will offer two modes of play: Normal and hard. Normal Mode was designed to have easier mechanics, making the raid more friendly for those looking to experience it as part of Heavensward’s storyline. If you’re looking for something a bit more on the challenging side, Hard Mode has you covered. Square Enix has intentionally created this difficulty to be more trying than the Coils of Bahamut. Alexander is gigantic, and its architecture suggests he isn’t fully excavated or revealed. To complete the raid, you’ll have to go inside to fight Primal Alexander, with each body part possibly being a different section of the raid.
Heavensward will have a variety of different releases. In addition to the standard addition, Square Enix will be offering a Collector’s Edition with several different items to enhance the FF14 experience. To attract new players, there’s also a bundle that includes Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn and Heavensward. Finally, Square Enix is bringing FF14 and Heavensward to OS X.